Kochi’s iconic Marine Drive is yet again in the news for moral policing. After a hiatus of three years, city’s favourite hangout is set to witness the ‘Kiss of Love’ protest with a few outfits and persons announcing the re-launch of the stir on Thursday. The move comes after a group of Shiv Sena activists unleashed an attack on couples relaxing on benches along the Marine Drive on Wednesday evening.
The original Kiss of Love protest had lost much of its sheen after two of its leading lights, Rahul Pasupalan and Reshmi were accused of running a sex racket, and got embroiled in multiple court cases.
But the attack by the Shiv Sena men in Kochi has ironically breathed new life into the movement.
CPM district secretary P Rajeev and others have expressed their solidarity in the protests against ‘moral policing’.
Also, the district Congress committee has called for a collective against the moral policing on the Rainbow Bridge at Marine Drive. KSU, the students wing of the Congress, is conducting a symbolic protest by distributing rattan sticks, which were reportedly used by Shiv Sena workers to scare away the boys and girls.
The voices of dissent gained momentum after the Shiv Sena activists assaulted the couples in the presence of police.
Police said that the Sena activists took out a procession, with a banner ‘stop love under umbrella’ on Wednesday. They then verbally abused the couples and threatened them to vacate the walkway.
Some of the Sena supporters then caned the couples and asked them not to return to the walkway anymore, police informed.
The situation was brought under control after more policemen reached the spot.
Six Sena activists were arrested in connection with the incident. The arrests were made under charges of causing public nuisance and holding procession without police permission.